Bark Bay to Marahau – Abel Tasman National Park
Sunday 20 November 2022
With the weather looking wetter on the Saturday the scheduled tramp was changed to the Sunday, which turned out to be not the case!
Six keen walkers caught the 9am water taxi from Marahau to Bark Bay. It started out as a pleasant cruise with a detour to Split Apple Rock. Things changed when we hit the 'Mad Mile'. It certainly lived up to its name with a huge swell so the judder bars and pot holes were massive with white knuckles from holding on to the hand rail. Eventually we reached calmer water and were entering Bark Bay. Our young driver couldn't get the boat close enough to the shore so it was disembarking with our boots off and wading to shore. We washed the sand off our feet under the tap at the nearby shelter, donned our boots and then parka as it had started raining lightly.
The Bark Bay Hut was only a short walk so we checked that out before heading off along the track to Anchorage. It wasn't long before we saw some of the large slips caused by the August storm which closed the track. We navigated the new sections with caution as in several places it had become slippery in the rain.
We stopped for morning tea at a timely seat with a partial view as the rain was clearing off. As we entered Torrent Bay for the low-tide track crossing there were glimpses of sun. We managed to cross the channel with the water only reaching the top of our thighs. It was an hour and a quarter before low tide. Shortly after, we arrived at Anchorage Bay, walking the length of the golden sand beach to check out the DOC hut and have our group photo with its attendant Kaitiaki.
Lunch was had on the beach in the sunshine so we enjoyed it as it wasn't going to last for long.
The sea was whipping up white caps and the waves were lapping on the shore as the cloud rolled over. It was time for the climb up out of the bay, and soon after this the rain set in so it was a soggy walk to Marahau.
We set a good pace, not stopping at any of the lovely bays as it was too wet. Soon after Akersten Bay there was a tree fall over the track that you couldn't go over, under or around so squeezing through the branches it was, taking the pack off first!
We stopped briefly at Tinline before reaching the cars six and a half hours after leaving Bark Bay.
We were surprised how busy the track was, considering the weather. There is something refreshing about walking in the rain......the array of green foliage is more vivid and every creek was a torrent of water.
It was an enjoyable day, despite the rain, with great company, on the beautiful Abel Tasman Track.
The walkers were Sue (leader and scribe), Di, Jenny, Lynley, Tony and Donald.